CLUE-LA’s mission is to bring together clergy and lay leaders of all faiths to join low-wage workers in their struggles for justice. CLUE and its network of leaders and congregations partner with activist community organizations and unions to increase workers’ capacity to influence their working conditions, to attain worker-friendly public policies, and to pressure commercial/industrial developers to agree to a community benefits package in exchange for permits and subsidies.
To further the work of economic justice in our region, CLUE-LA collaborates with over 600 religious leaders and 1200 lay people throughout the Los Angeles county area. These churches represent a very broad range of ethnic and denominational constituencies, including Christian Evangelicals, Muslim leaders and mosques, all of the Jewish denominations, historic African-American churches, Hispanic Pentecostals, and Korean congregations.
The religious community brings three essential assets to the broad-based collaborations which advance economic justice.
- Our Religious Constituency: Churches, mosques, temples, and places of worship are centers of some of the world’s biggest communities. In affluent areas, families come together in worship. In depressed areas, we are often the only functioning institutions. We call people of all races, occupations, and identities together to consider their places in the world and their responsibilities to each other. All walks of life, all nations, and all colors cross in the pews and pulpits.
- Inspiration and Support: Workers seeking justice face intimidation, unjust treatment, and harassment on and off the job. They can grow weary and afraid. As in every conflict, we can serve as counselors, chaplains, and friends. Also, faith communities have ways to provide direct assistance to workers and families facing unemployment and hardship.
- Community: Corporations effectively discourage community involvement by portraying the struggle as a private competition between economic interests. We know better. Workers aren’t just workers – they are friends, neighbors, spouses, children, parents, parishoners. A good job affects a person’s life and relationship with others everywhere. Our faith calls us to love our neighbors and seek justice for each other – in the workplace and every space in our lives. When CLUE-LA speaks, we speak with the conviction that faith demands justice always and everywhere.
A Brief History of CLUE
Founded in 1996, CLUE-LA is one of the oldest interfaith worker justice organizations in the country. At that time, religious leaders joined the effort to pass a living wage law mandating that businesses with Los Angeles city contracts to provide adequate wages and health benefits. After the legislation passed, CLUE was formed with the purpose of organizing the religious community to support low-wage workers in their struggles for a living wage, health benefits, respect and a voice in the corporate and political decisions which affect them.
Its many accomplishments began with key support for the successful 1997 Living Wage campaign in Los Angeles.
CLUE LA took a leadership role in the battle to keep Wal-Mart out of Inglewood; played a central role in the passage of statewide legislation increasing funding for staffing for nursing homes; provided strategic support for striking grocery workers that brought the owner of Safeway back to the bargaining table; created dramatic actions in support of hotel workers in Santa Monica and Los Angeles that were crucial to victory; and played an important role in the public policy and corporate campaigns of healthcare workers and janitors.
Today it continues its work alongside the employees of car washes, grocery stores, hotels, industrial production companies, and many other local businesses whose ethical standards so immediately affect our communities. To learn more about our current and recent work, visit our campaign page.